Dworken & Bernstein’s Zoning Administrative Appeals and Litigation practice group represents property owners and developers on matters relating to the development and use of land.  Common issues include economic development tools and tax incentives, the purchase and sale of real estate, annexation, zoning, land use and land development. Land use and zoning law is the regulation of the use and development of public and private real estate. In this regard, zoning is one of the most common forms of land-use regulation, which is used by municipalities to control property development. Legal issues relating to land use include easements, trespassing, and eminent domain. Zoning regulations typically divide a municipality into residential, commercial or industrial zones. Zoning laws are intended to maintain a level of order and efficiency within a community while keeping each zone optimized for its intended purpose. Zoning laws often are meant to assure homeowners that a factory or department store will not open across the street in a residential area. Zoning laws also regulate specific requirements for the types of buildings and can include height restrictions or hours of operation, to name a few.  With this in mind, we assist our clients with zoning, land use and development matters which generally fall into the following three categories:

  • Property owners: assisting in the purchase and sale of real estate; annexation tax incentives; real property taxes and valuation (Board of Revision); legislative and administrative zoning matters and appeals; lot splits and subdivision of land; working with local governments, design and development professionals;
  • Developers: working with developers, planners, engineers and other design professionals in all aspects of the acquisition, development and use of land from conception to completion; representing developers in all courts and all zoning commissions; and
  • Appeals to Zoning Board of Appeals and from final decisions rendered by municipalities to the Common Pleas courts.

Two of the most important aspects of this area of law are (a) ensuring the administrative record before a zoning body is packed with factual support and (b) ensuring an appeal of an adverse decision is timely filed.  This is a complicated area and you need a lawyer experienced and versed in the zoning codes and statutory law. Contact Dworken & Bernstein’s Zoning Administrative Appeals and Litigation practice group today for more information on how our attorneys can help with all aspects of zoning appeals and litigation.

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